The Hartford (7/31), the 8/5 Phlly, and the 8/6 Jersey City (best of '74) shows all happened the week after this show; a tour up there with Fall '80, Summer '87, Spring '90 and May '77. This was the 1st of 29 shows in (the then-new) DC's Cap Centre, which was built to hold a then-whopping 20,000. One of the strongest markets for the band, they played nearby RFK Stadium 15 times and the Merriweather Post, just a few miles north, 6 times.
First Set. Starts about average (going out of tune by Must Have Been Roses) until the stand-alone Scarlet
. The jam out is where the ship begins to float and the rest of the set flies. The Wall of Sound didn't play well with recording equipment but Jer's tone on Deal
is incredible. Every part is in place, every musician's adding all the way through the hot Weather Report Suite
Second Set. After a Seastones set, Jer takes a little different approach to a He's Gone
that's just sparkling. Bobby flubs Truckin'
(srsly??) but Jer is very active and starts a big, loose 26-min jam with a brief TOO. Nobody's Fault
starts as a Spoonful riff. The Other One
happens - but just one verse, then it dissolves back into a crazy jam, into a tight Wharf Rat
. The rest is average but for a hot U.S. Blues
(which makes sense at the time in District-Columbia). Sugar Magnolia
gets better and better as the jam develops, though there are better ones from summer '74. I don't think they all left the stage so Casey Jones
isn't really an encore.
Overall = 4 Stars
El Paso - nailed
Weather Report Suite - entire suite is sweet
He's Gone - sparkling
The Other One - fever jam
Wharf Rat - smooth as it gets
U.S. Blues - check Billy, especially
is the best SBD yet. The seamons matrix is particularly good. Partially released on Dave's Picks Bonus Disc 2012
(part of DaP2), which runs 1% too fast
- probably tolerable to most listeners.